Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you’ve had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before. The nutty taste of peanut butter and the often tangy and tart tastes of different jellies make for a fantastic sandwich that millions of Americans enjoy all the time.
A PB&J sandwich might not be enough for you on its own, and that’s perfectly understandable. When thinking about what to eat with it, it’s important to consider the sweet and tangy blends of flavor that can be found in a typical PB&J.
That’s why we’re here to help. We’ve got for you a list of seventeen dazzling sides that you can pair with your next PB&J sandwich, for a combination that’s sure to put a smile on your face!
17 Side Dishes to Serve With Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
We’re sure you’re hungry, so we won’t waste any more time and get straight into our list. Get ready for some truly yummy ideas!
1. Tomato Soup
Chances are good that you’ve had a grilled cheese sandwich with some tomato soup before, but what about trying a PB&J sandwich instead? The flavor combinations are certainly exotic, so it’s great for all of you culinary adventurers out there.
Considering the strong tastes of tomato soup, it’s probably a good idea to stick with sweeter jellies on this one. Of course, we can’t tell you what to do, so experiment with this however you wish!
If you happen to be from Indiana or Ohio, this side dish suggestion shouldn’t surprise you one bit. Chili and peanut butter sandwiches are popular in these two states; given this, why not change it up a bit?
Serving chili with your PB&J sandwich combines two comfort foods into one meal. If you’re craving warm food along with something nostalgic and simple, this combo is right up your alley.
3. Apple Slices
This is a great idea if you’re looking for a light snack that’s still quite nutritious. Apple slices are crisp and sweet, which works great when combined with the nutty and more tart flavors of a PB&J sandwich.
To spice things up a bit, try serving your apple slices with some caramel for dipping. Or, if you want to stick with just a few ingredients, you can put some peanut butter on the side for dipping as well.
Sometimes, a side dish doesn’t have to be food in order to be perfect. A glass of cold milk will elevate your PB&J sandwich to new heights without being at all complicated.
It’s always great to have something to wash your food down with, and in this case, milk is your best option. We recommend plain whole milk (or 2% if you really want to be healthy), but feel free to experiment with different flavors!
Chips are an incredibly popular snack food, so it’s no wonder that people will often find themselves reaching into a bag of chips when they’re unsure of what else to have with a sandwich.
The crunch of a good handful of chips will add new textures to your meal, with PB&J typically being fairly smooth. Try out some regular Lays, or maybe throw in a special Pringles flavor.
6. Raw Vegetables
Health nuts will surely love this suggestion! Raw vegetables go great with other cold food like PB&J; plus, they’re packed with nutrients. They’ll also add a nice crunch to an otherwise smooth meal.
Celery and carrots are great to pair with PB&J. Plus, they’re perfect for dipping; try throwing some ranch alongside your vegetables. Or, better yet, keep it simple and just use peanut butter. Celery goes especially well with peanut butter, as we’re sure you know.
Out of all of the different kinds of sandwiches out there, PB&J actually lends itself pretty well to being a breakfast food. If having this sandwich in the morning sounds appealing to you, try eating it with some cereal!
There are lots of different cereals to try out, so get creative! Plus, you can use the milk leftover from your bowl of cereal to wash down the rest of your sandwich!
You’ve already got peanuts in your meal, so why not throw in some other nuts as well? Almonds, cashews, and pecans are just a few examples of other nuts you can use to give your PB&J meal some extra life.
If you want to keep things, even more, simple, try using different combinations of nut spreads on your PB&J, or maybe even set some aside for dipping!
Eating sunflower and chia seeds is growing in popularity, so why not enjoy some along with your PB&J sandwich? We know some people might still think seeds are just for the birds- but we encourage you to challenge that mindset!
Having some seeds with your PB&J sandwich is plenty healthy, and will offer new textures to your meal that you’ve probably never experienced quite like this before.
People will often have peanut butter and banana sandwiches, so it should be obvious why bananas are included on this list. Just because you’ve introduced jelly into the mix doesn’t mean bananas don’t work!
Plus, bananas are super healthy. They’re packed with essential nutrients and are a delight to eat. If keeping textures similar throughout the entire meal is important to you, we recommend bananas.
A common way that people exoticize their PB&J is to introduce bacon into the mix. It’s salty, savory, and crunchy- all things your PB&J is not. If you truly want a diverse meal, this is it.
Of course, this definitely isn’t the healthiest option. You could try going with turkey bacon if you want things a bit healthier, but hey, who cares if bacon is good for you? It’s bacon.
Another savory side dish option for PB&J is cheese. Cheese is tangy, lively, and full of flavor, making it perfect to serve with an equally as-flavorful type of sandwich.
There are tons of cheeses out there, which means you can really personalize your meal to the fullest extent. From mild cheese to super sharp, there’s something for every PB&J fan.
Another item that often gets served with sandwiches is pickles. Crunchy and tart, the strong flavor and texture of pickles will stand out strong alongside a PB&J sandwich without overpowering it.
We think sweet pickles are better for a PB&J sandwich than dill, but of course, it’s ultimately up to your own preferences. Using a tarter jelly would probably be a good idea here.
If keeping your meal sweet throughout is your kind of thing, nectarines are right up your alley. They’re simple in taste but still add plenty to a meal when served with a PB&J sandwich.
Given their taste, we recommend using a sweeter jelly when using nectarines as a side dish. If consistency isn’t your thing, then, of course, go wild with whatever jelly you want!
15. Fig Newtons
Fig Newtons are probably one of the healthier desserts out there. They’re still sweet without being overpowering in that department, so they’re perfect for a PB&J that’s made with some nice, sweet jelly.
If you’re interested, we also recommend adding a glass of milk to this meal. These three things together are going to give you a fantastic meal!
Strawberries are fairly tart when compared to a lot of other fruits, but they’re still plenty sweet. Pretty much any fruit will probably work with PB&J, but we feel strawberries are particularly great.
Sprinkle them with some powdered sugar to give them a boost of flavor and sweetness, if you prefer. You could also drizzle them with chocolate if you want to turn them into a dessert or savory side.
PB&J popcorn is a popular flavor, so it’s definitely not a surprise that this has ended up on our list. The saltiness and butteriness of popcorn will add new levels to your PB&J sandwich, teaching you exactly why PB&J popcorn is so popular.
The textural contrast between popcorn and PB&J is absolutely wonderful, as well. Anyone looking to up their game in this department should definitely check out popcorn.
Whew, we’re done! PB&J is amazing food, and there are plenty of awesome side dishes to go with it. Remember to take into account the type of jelly you’re choosing to use, as well as the flavor profiles of the side dishes you’re looking at. Happy eating!